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Surfer found alive 28 hours after fall from boat

Published: 9:28AM Friday April 19, 2013 Source: ONE News

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A South African surfer has been found alive 28 hours after falling overboard from a boat off Indonesia's Mentawai Islands.

Wavescape website reports another Indonesian surf charter boat found 50-year-old Brett Archibald at about 1am yesterday floating in the ocean about 10 nautical miles from the point where he fell overboard.

He had been floating on his back for 27 hours.

He was a bit sunburnt and dehydrated, All Aboard Travel wrote on their Facebook page soon afterwards.

"The boat is taking him to the Indies Trader III so that he can phone his wife."

Archibald managed to speak to his wife by phone about three hours after being rescued.

Archibald was on his seventh surf trip to Indonesia with the same group of friends when their boat the Naga Laut was rocked by bad weather, heavy seas and strong winds during the night, Wavescape reported.

He went on deck before dawn suffering from a severe bout of seasickness and thinks he passed out, the website said.

He found himself in the ocean when he came to and all he could see was the boat vanishing in the darkness.

Archibald said he almost drowned at least eight times during his ordeal, was stung by jelly fish and nibbled by fish.

He had to fend off seagulls who kept dive bombing him to pluck his eyes out as he floated on his back trying to conserve energy.

The report said he survived by keeping calm and floating, and also because the water was warm at about 28 degrees C.

"Not since the tsunami of 2004 has a rescue operation brought the Indo surf charter community together so strongly," Wavescape said, adding that there was immediate help from charter boats, surf camps and friends in Indonesia to find him.

Undeterred, Archibald said he needed to finish his surf trip.